For the Love of Gypsy Feathers

4 Mile Creek Horses is located in the foot hills of the Ozarks, between Batesville and Searcy, Arkansas. We raise Gypsy Vanner Horses and naturally gaited, head shaking- smooth walking Tennessee Walking Horses, Spotted Saddle Horses and Racking Horses, with quality bloodlines.

The Gypsy Horse

The Lion King (grand-sire to our stallion; The King's Ransome) 15.2 hand, HOMOZYGOUS* Legendary Gypsy Horse stallion

The Lion King (grand-sire to our stallion; The King’s Ransome)
15.2 hand, HOMOZYGOUS* Legendary Gypsy Horse stallion

Traditionally a “cob” in the UK was a comparatively short-legged, sturdy type with an easy-going nature. Ideally, a small head, which probably brought about the saying that “A Cob should have the back end of a cook and the head of a lady”. Fairly heavy boned and of medium height with obvious draft influence; even so he could pick up a good pace when in harness and was also very popular as a hunter/jump mount. The Gypsy Horse has been bred in a true cob mold but also with the unique qualities, as described above, for which the Romany folk bred.

The Gypsy Horse gains popularity with each new person he meets. He is an “all-around” horse – equally suitable for riding or driving, and is healthy, hardy, and strong. He is the answer for the average horse-loving family who longs for a horse that is easy to manage and keep, and who meets the needs of young and old alike. He has a warm, loveable nature which is active, kind, intelligent, and willing. According to description he had to be “fleet of foot, a good jumper, a good swimmer and able to carry a substantial weight on his back”. He also had to be capable of drawing heavy loads of timber. Throughout the ages he has flourished and worked, often in poverty-stricken conditions. This was the sort of life that has shaped the Gypsy Horse what he is today.

After a long period of disregard and neglect, the Gypsy Horse has finally come back into his own. Time and time again, he continues to prove himself to be the ideal trekking animal with his safe, sure-footed responsiveness. He is unrivaled for private driving and is a natural jumper. In addition, he is perfect for the disabled rider who benefits from his tractable and gentle disposition. The Gypsy Horse is, beyond doubt, the most versatile of animals in existence and long ago established a reputation as the best ride and drive animal in the world. ~ The Gypsy Horse Association

Gypsy Horse Registry of America

Thunderball, standing at Traditional Gypsy Cobs UK

Thunderball, standing at Traditional Gypsy Cobs UK

The Gypsy Horse; also known as the Gypsy Cob. Gypsies or Travelers as they are known today, have bred and used the colorful gypsy horses to pull their ornate living wagons and carts through the country lanes of the UK. Traditionally the gypsy horse was involved in every aspect of family life. The beautiful mane, tail and feather, exceptional disposition and heartiness are the trademarks of the Gypsy Horse. The GHRA is dedicated to maintaining the overall appearance and conformation of the traditional Gypsy horse that graced the families of Travelers for years.

The Gypsy Horse Registry of America DNA test each horse to parent qualify when parental DNA is available. Extensive records are kept on each and every horse that has ever been registered through the GHRA. ~ The Gypsy Horse Registry of America, Inc.

The Gypsy Horse Association

The Gypsy Horse is a relatively new breed in the United States, and is also known as the Gypsy Cob, Gypsy Vanner, Romany Cob, or Tinker Horse. The Gypsy Horse Association (GHA) is a registry that welcomes all lovers of this amazing breed, and recognizes all breed names currently in use.

For hundreds of years, the nomadic people known as gypsies have traveled the roads of Europe and the U.K. in beautifully carved and decorated living wagons. To maintain this wandering way of life, they created an extraordinary breed of horse, with enough endurance and strength to pull a heavy wagon all day, the ability to subsist on whatever grazing it could find on the side of the road, and an extremely calm temperament, since a moment’s panic could quite literally result in the destruction of its master’s home. The result, after hundreds of years of selective breeding, is a beautiful, powerful and supremely gentle animal-the Gypsy Horse.

Many people have asked why the term “Cob”  is used for the Gypsy Horse in the United Kingdom.  The word “cob” defines a type of horse, rather than a breed. It comes from an archaic English word meaning a solid, rounded mass, and is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “a powerfully built, short-legged horse.” ~ Gypsy Horse Association

Cushti Bok, the first US registered Gypsy Vanner Horse The Old Horse of Whales X Callie (UK Mare)

Cushti Bok, the first US registered Gypsy Vanner Horse
The Old Horse of Whales X Callie (UK Mare)

The Gypsy Vanner Horse Society

The Gypsy Vanner Horse Society was founded November 24, 1996.  All breeds result from a crossing of breeds by someone or some culture focused on creating a specific looking horse born from their dreamed image – their vision. Once the ideal horse is achieved and recognized, the basic function of a breed society is to protect, educate about, perpetuate and promote the breed. With our breed and the magic it holds, the opportunity is greater.

Soon after World War II, a vision was born by the Gypsies of Great Britain to create the perfect caravan horse; “a small Shire, with more feather, more color and a sweeter head” was the goal.

Selective breeding continued virtually unknown to the outside world for over half a century until two Americans, Dennis and Cindy Thompson, while traveling through the English countryside, noticed a magical looking horse standing in a field. It was that very horse who became the key to unlocking the heretofore-unknown vision and genetics that created the Gypsies’ “vanner” breed (a horse suitable to pull a caravan). Be it good fortune, good luck or pure Gypsy magic, a passion was born in the Thompson’s to understand the little stallion that captured their attention and stole their hearts. It would take years of research – without the help of the Internet – to learn about this special horse and, just as importantly, the colorful culture, which had created it. ~ Dennis Thompson, GVHS Co-Founder

Sources: Gypsy Horse Registry of America / Gypsy Horse Association /  Gypsy Vanner Horse Society / Gypsy Gold, founders of the Gypsy Vanner Horse Society